Whether this negativity comes from within, or from other sources – it requires the same tools to deal with it.
I recently got a rather jolting wake up call to reassess this positive tool box. I had left it unattended for a while, and I found I really needed it. I was at a party, and all of a sudden an acquaintance remarked on my figure in front of a room full of a family and friends. Saying that I had gained a boat load of weight. Why he did this, I’m not sure. There are plenty of reasons, none of which I can be certain of. However, he pushed passed what is decent and landed slap bang in the middle of plain rudeness. Not knowing how to deal with someone WANTING to shame me, I just sort of half laughed it away, with a perplexed look on my face. But, unfortunately, even though my rational mind knew no truths were spoken (I have weighed the same, and worn the same size clothes for years) and it wasn’t really to do with my looks, or even me, that little negative weak spot grew bigger inside me. I saw myself catching my reflection often in the next few days, asking probing questions about myself. I was worried I was going to push myself into a darker corner of my mind.
And here’s what I found about what you need to be positive when one part of you is pushing you down.
It takes work.
And when you are on that slide down into negativity, it’s very hard to find any positivity around. Somewhere, somehow you have to have it in you, you have to WANT to have it in you – to find the positive.
Ok, so someone saying I was looking fat, isn’t exactly the most tragic thing to ever happen! But you know, it takes exactly the same tools to counter that sort of negativity, as it does any other. So don’t mind me, as I go through what I needed for myself, because when the real stuff hits the fan, believe me, you need exactly the same stuff.
So, once I realized that I was falling, I started digging up some energy from somewhere, and got out the affirmations.
Just the act of wanting to do that, was a huge positive push. Yes affirmations helped, getting the mind on another mental track and off the one full of mind-bombs was great. But knowing that you care for yourself enough to even want to try something is wonderful. It is a brilliant first step in showing that you are worthy of love, especially your own love.
Wherever you go in this world, you take you with you, so always, always look after yourself. It just makes for a much better life! Who wants to carry around a moaning, moping gremlin inside them? But if you don’t work to counter that voice, that is so easily present, it will take over, and you will find that you can’t believe in the better outcomes of all that face you. What you envision, is what you will create. That’s not some namby-pamby statement that comes straight from the kind of “I will be rich” affirmations I dislike, but simply a case of working from a script. If we say this is how we will feel, that is how we will feel. So just change the script.
Another aspect of getting away from unnecessary negativity, is to simply feel whatever is there to be felt. In my case, I had to accept and feel the shame and humiliation that I had truly been feeling at that situation. There are no prizes for putting on a brave face, especially internally where no one can see or know what you are feeling anyways. To heck with it, I thought, why not let myself feel embarrassed, even though it was three days after the event. Always open the door to those emotions who knock to come in. They just want to be seen. Even though having them there is uncomfortable, and – oh my goodness – you might even cry. So what? Knowing you are brave and courageous adds another very special aspect on what it needs to be a positive person.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on this aspect, until I found a book called Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman, an expert on the psychology of happiness.
That to be positive, you need to build character based on values. You can’t cheat your way to happiness through shortcuts.
So sitting there, feeling humiliated, even though I was in my PJ’s sitting on my bed was actually building character. And doing that gives you something real, something absolutely tangible within yourself that you can turn to and KNOW in your bones that you are worth something. You have it in you, you have courage and determination and self-love to care enough about yourself. This character builds up within you so that you carry it about wherever you go. This is the real fibre of positive being. And it can be built up every day.
Instead of cheating my way to momentary happiness, by turning on the TV or eating crud, but actually sitting there and letting myself cry a bit, I didn’t shortcut my ability to build happiness.
The flipside to this is that when you do shortcut your happiness by seeking instant gratification through quick means of fast pleasure, then you leave behind a trail that is also tangibly felt within. It’s a mixture of being unsatisfied, ungratified, with a hint of guilty emptiness that seems to dull if you just repeat the instant shortcut again. Sure, this is a life of pleasure, but not happiness. Or feeling that deep gratification. You know the type, the sort of gratification you feel falling asleep after a hard day’s physical labour, the “I earned this” sort of feeling. When we don’t earn our happiness by shoving down those little emotions that get bigger with ever dose of ignorance, we never get that release of “Aah, all is well in my world.”
You know, I used to be sniggered at, and still am at times, for wanting to be healthy. For wanting to better myself, for saying no to drinking, to smoking, to drugs, to all sorts. But every time I said no, it wasn’t out of deprivation, or punishment, it was out of love for myself. That I cared for myself, that I was worthy of looking after. And although in the past, I have binged, and fasted and ate so much I could burst, those little moments of “no, thanks” have built up enough inside me that I can counter negativity with a lot more assuredness than ever before. Sure, I’m not always smiling and happy, and I wonder – am I a pessimist or an optimist? But there’s something there, there’s something real inside, that lets me know that no matter what happens, I know I’ll be okay.
Here’s what I needed to do to get back to positivity when I felt myself sliding into a darker place.
- Feel the feelings.
- Repeat affirmations that soothed my mind.
- Doing the affirmations required energy that had to be sought out, even if I didn’t feel like doing them. Doing them let me know I was worthy of being looked after.
- Do other things I didn’t want to do, and would put off, like meditation or yoga. Or any form of exercise or something that felt hard. Doing so, and giving myself a pat on the back, built up that character that helped me be in a stronger state to earn happiness.
- Move forwards, in every day, with choices that come from true gratification rather than punishment. Eat whatever I wanted, because I was adult enough to face the consequences, and know that in this way, I build trust. The kind of trust that says; I will be there to look after myself in the future.
If you are on your side, you will build happiness. It takes time and practice, but it is worth everything in the world to do so.